Baked Buffalo chicken spaghetti has all the classic flavors of Buffalo wings-chicken, wing sauce, and blue cheese-all baked into one delicious pasta dish!
I am really not an eater of Buffalo wings. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that I find them kind of a pain to eat. You know, bones and all. I can never get much meat off of them and I always feel a little dejected staring at a pile of bones with a whole bunch of chicken that I just can’t quite get to (I have a bit of an overbite, which doesn’t help). Besides that, I’ve mentioned here a few times that I’m a pansy when it comes to spice and I’m always afraid that if I order wings in a restaurant that they’ll be too spicy. Plus, Philip shares my feelings about how much work it takes to eat wings so it’s no thing to him.
That said, I really do like the flavor of Buffalo wings. I love the spicy tanginess of Buffalo sauce and I love how it pairs so perfectly with whatever dressing you serve it with for “cooling” purposes. I love blue cheese dressing and ranch dressing, and I have grown into a love of the funkiest of blue cheeses. Add some celery to that for the crunch and health factor, and you have a match made in heaven. The legend goes that Buffalo wings were created in a bar (Anchor Bar, to be exact) in Buffalo, NY, for the college-aged son of the owner and his friends. They wanted a snack, so she whipped something up out of the ingredients that she had in the kitchen. Talk about luck, pairing all of those ingredients so perfectly together. I can’t think of many thrown-together flavor combinations that work quite that well!
For some reason I kind of got on a Buffalo kick recently while doing some blog recipe brainstorming. Buffalo chicken spaghetti came to mind, and it would have been awesome if I had just stopped there. I decided, though, that I wanted this to be a more casserole-ish sort of Buffalo chicken spaghetti, so I spread it in a pan and made baked Buffalo chicken spaghetti. I did not regret this decision. I made the sauce with creamy cauliflower sauce that I mixed with ranch dressing spices, then coated some shredded chicken (I cooked it ahead of time in the slow cooker) with hot sauce. Onions and celery added some flavor and a little crunch to the pasta & sauce mixture, and yes, I used an entire container of blue cheese. If you are a hater of blue cheese, leave it out and sub in some shredded mozzarella or cheddar. By the way, the second night I decided to drizzle my baked Buffalo chicken spaghetti with a little ranch dressing. It was a good idea. Amen and amen.
Yield: 6-12 servings
15 minPrep Time:
40 minCook Time:
- One 13.25 ounce box angel hair, spaghetti, or linguine, cooked according to package directions and drained (I used whole wheat)
- two tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small or 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, cleaned and finely chopped
- 2 cups creamy cauliflower sauce (you can substitute jarred Alfredo sauce, but be aware that this will affect the calorie & fat content)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 pounds chicken thighs or breasts, cooked and shredded (I made mine in the slow cooker the day before, seasoned simply with salt and pepper)
- 3/4 cup hot sauce (I used Frank's), divided
- 5 ounces crumbled blue cheese (or substitute shredded mozzarella or cheddar)
- ranch or blue cheese dressing, for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the pasta according to package directions in an 8-quart pot. Drain and set aside.
- In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until softened. While the onions and celery are cooking, stir the spices into the cauliflower sauce and set aside.
- When the onions and celery are cooked through, add the chicken to the pot. Add 1/2 cup of the hot sauce and stir to combine. Add the drained pasta, the cauliflower sauce, and four ounces of the cheese. Stir to combine completely.
- Spread the pasta into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and drile with remaining Buffalo sauce. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing driled over, if desired.
Cook time does not account for cooking the chicken or the cauliflower sauce. I recommend making both of these ahead of time.
Click here to print the recipe for baked Buffalo chicken spaghetti!